Revived Brabham marque aiming to race GTE Pro class at 2022 Le Mans

The revived Brabham marque is aiming to be on the grid at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2022

Australian-based Brabham Automotive, which launched last May with 2009 Le Mans winner David Brabham at the helm, is planning a World Endurance Championship entry in the GTE Pro class at the start of the 2021/22 season.

The GTE car will be based on a new road-going sportscar that will have its roots in the million-pound BT62 track day car unveiled last May.

Brabham told Autosport: "It is important that we return to racing, because it is in our DNA.

"We told everyone when we launched that we wanted to go racing and that the ultimate goal was to get to Le Mans.

"There has been a lot of speculation about how we might do it, so we want to confirm the direction in which we are going — and that's GTE in time for the 2021/22 season."

Brabham, son of marque co-founder Sir Jack Brabham, explained that the GTE car would be developed out of the next model produced by the company.

"It would be wrong to say that it will be a whole new car," he said.

"It will be a development of what we have now, a car we have built with endurance racing in mind, but what exactly it will be and what it will be called will come later."

Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, welcomed Brabham's announcement.

"For the ACO, the return of the Brabham name to endurance racing is much more than symbolic," he said.

"It demonstrates remarkable loyalty and an extraordinary competitive spirit."

Brabham revealed that he was already "talking to potential partners to join us on this exciting journey" and that design work on the new car, which will retain the Ford-based normally-aspirated V8 of the BT62, was already underway.

The latest phase of development of the 700bhp BT62, deliveries of which will start in the second quarter of 2019, has also included extensive endurance testing for racing.

The GTE car will be developed at Brabham Automotive headquarters in Adelaide, but the plan is to run a factory team in the WEC from UK premises.

It is also the intent to make the car available to customer teams. "Brabham, in the 1960s, was the biggest racing car manufacturer in the world," said Brabham.

"Customers kept coming back to Brabham because of the service offered and the involvement of my father in developing and driving the cars, so it resonates with what we want to do.

Brabham insisted that it was too early to discuss drivers, but he hinted that his son Sam, who ended a hiatus from the cockpit last year with a one-off Porsche Carrera Cup GB appearance, and sometime IndyCar driver Matthew, son of Geoff Brabham, would be in the frame.

"There are third-generation Brabhams out there," he said "We don't want to make any commitments at this stage, but they will be seriously considered."

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